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22.12.2005 Regional News

TWU extends Xmas solidarity to members in Forestry Commission

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Accra, Dec. 22, GNA - The Timber and Woodworkers Union (TWU) of the Trades Union Congress (TUC) has assured its members in the Forestry Commission of its total solidarity and support for their legitimate trade union right in conformity with the Labour Act 651. In a Christmas and New Year message issued on behalf of the TWU's National Executive Council (NEC), the Union expressed its disappointment about the manner the TUC leadership had been handling the "false and unjustified" over workers of the Forestry Commission by the General Agricultural Workers Union (GAWU), resulting in a dispute between the two unions.

The message signed by Mr Joshua Ansah of the TWU said as far as the Commission's workers were concerned, their decision to join TWU had been appropriately captured under section 79 (1) of 2003 Labour Act 651 which says: "Every worker has a right to form or join a trade union of his or her choice for the promotion of the worker's economic and social interests."

The message recalled that in October 2003, the staff of the Forestry Commission held a Nation Delegates Conference in Kumasi and unanimously resolved to form one strong union to join the TWU and were subsequently issued with a collective bargaining certificate, which empowered them to negotiate for their conditions of service.

According to the message, the unfortunate claim, which was later initiated against the Commission's employees had seriously disrupted further negotiations for improved working conditions since 2004. "The workers had vowed not to change their affiliation and no one could force them to reverse their decision", the message said and appealed to all employees in the timber industry to support the Union's programmes to educate its members through seminars workshops and course.

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